HDI Hosts Iraq Focused CODEL to the United Nations
On November 19, 2007 the Humpty Dumpty Institute with the support of the United Nations Foundation hosted a delegation of three leading Members of Congress (see photos on right). Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), and Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) attended a day of briefings focused on the United Nation's role in Iraq.
The day began with an in depth presentation by the Director of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees Pierre Bertrand on attempts by the U.N. to find permanent homes for the over two million Iraqi refugees, as well as over four million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Bertrand also mentioned that 98% of the funding UNHCR receives comes from voluntary contributions.
The next briefing, by U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ambassador B. Lynn Pascoe focused on the U.N.'s role in Iraq and Iraq's relationship with its neighbors. Darko Mocibob, the U.N. Department of Political Affairs Team Leader for Iraq, spoke on the role that joint United Nations and United States pressure can play in national and regional reconciliation efforts.
The third briefing of the day, by David Kaatrud, Director of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) discussed OCHA's essential services: providing the basics of food, water, and electricity and also coordinating economic development and governance efforts. Mr. Kaatrud focused on projects in Iraq directly funded by OCHA and on the organization's monitoring and coordination role.
The CODEL closed with a working lunch attended by Ambassador Hamid Al-Bayati, Ambassador of Iraq to the United Nations and the Delegation. The meeting provided an off the record opportunity for a frank exchange of views and ended with the Ambassador suggesting ways that Congress can assist with Iraq's reconciliation and security efforts.